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Sometimes a story comes along that perfectly encapsulates the flaming disaster area that is American culture and politics. This is that story.
“I don’t even listen to rap. My apartment is too nice to listen to rap in.” – Kanye West
I must confess that I am one of those strange people who likes my music to be made by musicians who can actually play instruments and/or sing, and who prefers the artistry of cinema to the banality of reality television, and admires the mastery of acting craft over the insipid vanity of celebrity. It is because of these feelings that I was so instinctively repulsed by a story that dominated the news this past week…and yet, to my great shame could not turn away from it.
The story in question came into being when the rancid concoction of a self-proclaimed rap messiah, his celebrity queen wife and a reality tv president, were all mixed together to create a supernova of self-promotion so powerfully vacuous and vapid that it may cause the universe to collapse in upon itself.
The rap messiah is none other than Kanye West, also known as Yeezy, Yeezus, KanYeezy and Evel Kanyevel. The celebrity queen is his wife Kim Kardashian, and the reality tv President is Donald Trump.
“I told y’all I didn’t vote, right? But if I would’ve voted, I would’ve voted for Trump.” – Kanye West
If you haven’t heard the story…and I am deeply envious of you if you haven’t…the details are thus…Kanye declared on twitter this week that he loves him some Donald Trump by posting a photo of an autographed Make America Great Again hat and another photo of him wearing said hat….THE HORROR!
Kanye’s Trump love was swiftly met by predictable liberal fury, as 10 million of his twitter followers jumped ship. Some in the media even went so far as to claim Kanye’s support of Trump was a sign that he is suffering from mental health issues.
Kanye’s wife, star of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian, came to her husband’s defense and tweeted,
“to the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this…your commentary on Kanye being erratic and his tweets being disturbing is actually scary. So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair”.
“I am Warhol. I am the Number One most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh.” - Kanye West
It seems clear that Yeezy’s admiration for Trump is more an exercise in self-serving sycophancy than in political expression. After all, how could Yeezus not be a Trump supporter? He and Trump are mirror images of one another, both narcissistic charlatans whose greatest talent is self-aggrandizement.
Kanye and Trump also both suffer from delusions of grandeur, as Kanye has favorably compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr., Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Thomas Edison, Pablo Picasso and Jim Morrison while Trump has done the same with FDR, Lincoln, Reagan and Andrew Jackson.
“I’m living in the 21st century doin’ something mean to it/ Do it better than anybody you ever seen do it/ Screams from haters got a nice ring to it/ I guess every superhero need his theme music” – Kanye West
That said, the outraged liberal response to Evel Kanyevel’s Trump admission is as mindless as it is hypocritical.
Liberals have gone absolutely mad in the Trump era leaving them incapable of tolerating opinions that diverge from Democratic orthodoxy. The strictly enforced groupthink that permeates the establishment left in America is so intellectually stultifying and suffocating it resorts to shaming and exiling all independent thinkers.
Kanye’s public support of Trump wasn’t even the greatest challenge he made to the intellectual infrastructure of Democrats this week, that came in the form of his tweet in support of Candace Owens.
Owens is a conservative Black woman who criticizes the “victim mentality” of the modern African-American community and Black Lives Matter, among other controversial things. Owens said in response to Kanye’s support, “The left wants to strap Black people to this idea that they are victims…they don’t like to see Black people that are free thinkers and are independent…”. I would go Ms. Owens one step further and say that the establishment on both the left and the right are virulently opposed to free thinkers and independent thought.
“I’m like a fly Malcolm X/Buy any jeans necessary” – Kanye West
To be clear, it isn’t just Democrats who are failing to wrap themselves in glory with this Kanye story, Republicans are showing their true colors as well.
If you will remember, in 2005 Kanye infamously said “President Bush doesn’t care about Black people” during a telethon for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Bush later called Kanye’s statement “one of the most disgusting moments” of his presidency, which is further proof of the overwhelming power of Kanye as he tops 9-11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, lying about WMD’s, Abu Ghraib, rendition, torture, Hurricane Katrina and the financial collapse of 2008 on Bush’s disgusting list…Kanye is very impressive!
Unsurprisingly, Democrats loved Kanye back when he bad-mouthed Bush, which only heightens their hypocrisy now. In that same vein, Republicans hated Kanye with a passion back when he assailed their man Dubya. They trotted out the usual idiotic attacks that they honed years earlier against the Dixie Chicks when that band failed to fall in line with Bush’s war in Iraq. “Shut up and sing” was the common refrain from conservatives who disliked it when musicians or other artists went public with their liberal political beliefs.
But now that Kanye wear’s a Make America Great Again hat, conservatives like Laura Ingraham, who actually wrote a book titled “Shut Up and Sing”, Tucker Carlson, and even Bill O’Reilly, who once called Kanye a “dopey little rapper” and said of him “we don’t care what he says”, are thrilled to hear him express his pro-Trump views and even defend him by calling liberals who denounce him “American Stalinists”.
“I feel like I am too busy writing history to read it.” – Kanye West
This Kanye-Trump story is so striking because it is the quintessential American story revealing the decadent absurdity that is our culture and politics. This story revolves around a man who cannot play an instrument or sing but has made millions as a performer in the music business, who is married to a woman who built an empire as a tv star but who cannot act, who tweets support for a billionaire plutocrat who won the Presidency by posing as a populist fighting for the working man.
In addition, all three of these people, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump, have made their fortunes the truly American Way…by being masterful self-promoters and cunning media manipulators.
Obviously, I am not a fan of Kanye West, nor do I like Kim Kardashian or Donald Trump. But you know what I dislike even more? Shameless hypocrisy and the stifling of free thought. That is why I loathe both the Democrats for their gratuitous shunning of Kanye and Republicans for their unabashed embrace of him even more than I dislike Kanye himself.
And as much as I am loathe to admit it, when Kanye responded to liberals attacks on him by tweeting, “we have freedom of speech but not freedom of thought”, “self-victimization is a disease” and “You don’t have to agree with Trump…I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought”, he was absolutely, one hundred percent correct.
Americans have now devolved to the point where when we think, we only do so with a Manichean and binary point of view. The paradigm is ‘us against them’ and if you disagree or challenge orthodoxy, you are shouted down and cast out. This is not only unhealthy for people’s general wellbeing, but for American democracy in general.
“I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice.” – Kanye West
Kanye once claimed, to the amusement of many, he would run for president in 2020. He has since amended that declaration to set his sights on 2024. To quote President Obama, Kanye is a “jackass”, which considering his predecessors, would make Kanye right at home in the Oval Office. While I don’t think that Kanye deserves to be president, I do believe that we Americans, both sanctimonious Democrats and self-righteous Republicans alike, certainly deserve him as our president.
Kanye’s great power is that, just like Trump, love him or loathe him, to our great detriment and shame we are unable to stop talking about him. At the end of the day, there are no winners in this bizarre and inane story…only losers, and considering the amount of time I spent this week following this story, I certainly count myself among the losers.
A version of this article was originally published at RT.